Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Exploring A Subject Thoroughly With the Lumix DMC-LX7 - "Forever Marilyn" -

I have been starting to explore my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7. I've been playing with some of the
built-in scene modes, including the "toy camera" mode. It adds a vignette effect, and some pretty interesting color effects as well.
 
On a recent trip to Palm Springs, California, I noticed something new in town. There's an enormous statue of Marilyn Monroe, 26 feet tall. I decided to give the LX7 a shot at capturing Marilyn.
 
Here's my first, quite pedestrian shot:
 
Marilyn #1, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Toy Camera Scene Mode
iso 125, f3.2, 1/1600 sec.
 
I liked how the Palm Springs sign painted on the wall behind makes it clear where this is. I didn't like much else about it. Then I decided to change position to get this:
Marilyn #2, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Toy Camera Scene Mode
iso 125, f2.8, 1/2000 sec.
 
Then, I thought, how about closer?
 
 
Marilyn #3, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Toy Camera Scene Mode
iso 125, f3.2, 1/1600 sec.
 
I liked having the sign oriented to be between her legs.
 
Then, I wondered how important it was to have Marilyn's face in the picture. So, I got even closer.
 
Marilyn #4, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Toy Camera Scene Mode
iso 125, f2.8, 1/1600 sec.
 
I used a wider aspect ratio on the shot above, because I wanted to include her skirt. I suppose if you know the famous shot of Marilyn's skirt being blown up, you may be able to recognize that this is her.
 
Then, I moved in real close. At this point, in the shot below, I doubt if many people would make the connection to Marilyn Monroe.
 
Marilyn #5, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Toy Camera Scene Mode
iso 125, f2.8, 1/1600 sec.
 
 
Then, I went for the money shot. I think most people would at least wonder, for a brief moment (pardon the pun) what Marilyn was wearing under her skirt. I know I was curious. Well, here's the answer:
 
Marilyn #6, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Toy Camera Scene Mode
iso 125, f2.8, 1/1600 sec.
 
The shot above no longer includes the Palm Springs sign. But, I think it is my favorite. It answers one question, yet leaves others unanswered. This picture on its own would certainly lead to some questions.
 
Finally, on my way down the street after shooting these, I saw this in a shop window:
 
Reflections of Marilyn, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Toy Camera Scene Mode
iso 125, f2.5, 1/100 sec.
 
You can see the statue of Marilyn reflected in the shop window, at the left. This was a hard shot to compose, and was only partially successful in my opinion. I had to align the poster in the window with the dark reflection of the palm tree trunk, so that you can see Marilyn's face in the poster. Of course, I wanted the statue reflected in a nice way as well.
 
So, as you can see, my composition and approach changed as I thought more about it, and tried new things. I feel like I explored the subject pretty well, and enjoyed the process.
 
By the way, the statue, "Forever Marilyn" was made by Seward Johnson. It weighs 34,300 pounds, and is constructed of steel and aluminum.
 
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